23. An Understanding of Being Saved
Lin Qing Qingzhou City, Shandong Province
Over these several years of following God, I have given up the enjoyments of my family and the flesh, and I have been busy all day fulfilling my duty in the church. So I believed: As long as I don’t abandon the work in the church entrusted to me, don’t betray God, don’t leave the church, and follow God to the end, I’ll be spared and saved by God. I also believed that I was walking the path of salvation by God, and all I had to do was follow Him to the very end.
But a few days ago, I saw some text from the man’s preaching “Only Those Who Gain the Truth and Enter Into Reality Are Truly Saved”: “Being saved by God is not as simple as people imagine. We must rely on the judgment and chastisement as well as the trials and refinement from God’s word in every step of our experiences. We must closely follow every step of God’s work, and in the end gain the truth and achieve a change in disposition to become a new creation, and be able to rely on the truth to triumph over Satan and transcend sin. We must be able to consciously live relying on God’s words, to completely obey God and be compatible with Him. Only this is truly triumphing over Satan, transcending sin, and being gained by God. If we can achieve this outcome from experiencing God’s work, then only this is truly being saved by God.” “On the path of seeking the truth and achieving salvation by God, there are yet many difficulties and obstacles, such as the family breaking apart, natural and man-made disasters—every type of trial and tribulation that people must face. It certainly is not smooth sailing, and if people lack truth, they cannot stand firm, the chance that they will betray God is 100%.” After reading this, I felt as if I were awakening from a dream. So, being saved by God wasn’t as simple as I had thought after all; it relies on people experiencing God’s work and words every step of the way, accepting God’s chastisement and judgment, dealing and pruning, as well as experiencing the bitterness of all kinds of trials and tribulations. So that they can achieve a real understanding of their own corrupt dispositions and gradually rid themselves of corruption, and in the end can rely on God’s words and rely on the truth to triumph over Satan and transcend the forces of darkness in all types of environments. Only achieving this outcome is truly being saved by God. But comparing this to my actual condition, I was far from achieving that outcome. There were so many times that even though I knew pursuing reputation and status was not commended by God, I had still engaged in pursuit of these things, and was negative and weak when I did not get them. I would lose my motivation to pursue the truth and fall into a darkness I couldn’t extricate myself from. There were so many times that even though I knew believing in God meant I should pursue the truth to repay His love and that I couldn’t conduct transactions with God, I saw the day of God was too late in coming and I carried negativity within me. My energy of earlier times just disappeared without a trace, and I handled fulfilling my duty carelessly. When I encountered difficulties in my work, although I knew that this was God exercising me through difficulties, inside I was still full of misunderstandings and complaints toward God. I felt that believing in God was too difficult, too tiring, and I always wanted to escape, and even give up my work. There were so many times that even though I knew the environment and all people, matters, and things surrounding me were set up by God for perfecting me, and that I should seek truth from these things, when faced with a person, matter or thing that was not in line with my conceptions, I would always resist it and was unwilling to accept it. When I saw other people with happy families while I had been abandoned by my loved ones and had no resting place, I frequently felt sorrow and pain from this, to the point that several times I wanted to depart from God. … Even so, I still thought that I had long ago taken up the path of God’s salvation. Looking at all of these actual conditions, how could I have any bit of true stature? When faced just with some small trial or frustration, I was in danger of stumbling, not to mention being able to stand firm in the midst of great tribulations and suffering. At that moment I saw that although I had followed God for several years without giving up, I had not really grasped the truth, and my life disposition had not changed one bit. I was still living under Satan’s dark influence and was subject to its trickery and manipulation. This was very far off from the standard for truly being saved by God, but I still believed that I had entered the path of salvation from God long ago and I was nearly adequate—this was simply self-deception.
Oh God, thank You! It was Your enlightenment and guidance that allowed me to see my true condition clearly and made me understand what true salvation is, transforming my false knowledge from the past. It also made me understand that if I do not gain the truth or have a change in my life disposition, no matter how many years I believe in God, I will not gain Your approval. From today forward, I am willing to cherish this treasure of time to equip me with more of the truth, and through experiencing Your work, I will rid myself of my corrupt disposition. I will live according to Your words and completely obey You, and achieve true salvation by You.